FRANCOIS NARS HELPS THE BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE GET THAT WAY
I'm in love with makeup artist Francois Nars. He's smart, savvy, sassy, cute and loves to make women look beautiful. He has a divine makeup line, NARS, and a recent book, X-Ray (powerHouse Books), which I'm not in. (Boo-hoo! What's up with that?) We recently had tea and crumpets together and BS'd away. I'd better be in his next book, that's all I've got to say!

Lauren Ezersky: What I find really interesting is that there are so many new magazines out now -- millions?
Francois Nars: It's scary.

LE: Really scary. There is so much bad makeup. How do these makeup artists get these jobs? Even on the covers of magazines you see -- who was it? The one who's married to Tom Cruise, what's her name?
FN: Nicole Kidman.

LE: Nicole Kidman had dark circles under her eyes. How can they let that be printed?

FN: I know. There's a whole look out there that's about looking real. A lot of makeup artists, hairdressers and photographers keep that in their mind. They don't believe necessarily in beauty as a fantasy. And I think also that there's a whole look that's really the "street look" or what you could call the "reality look." I think it's all right to show dark circles. I think there is a lot of that out there, especially in a lot of young magazines. It's very crude.

LE: Real is O.K., but I don't think those people look attractive. You don't have to be glamorous all the time, but I think a woman -- even a man -- wants to look as good as they can.
FN: I do. You do.

LE: I don't want to look like a junkie, and in some of these ads, people look like they just shot up drugs.
FN: Did you see the new ad for Banana Republic?

LE: No.

FN: The lighting is so bad that you can see every hair on [the model's] face, every pore. It looks dirty. And you know, they did that on purpose. But there are photographers who still love making girls look beautiful, like Steven Meisel.

LE: He always does a great job.
FN: Yeah, 'cause he can't help it. He loves people looking beautiful. I love people looking beautiful. I guess we're from the old school. We've been trained looking at the old Bazaar, the old Vogue.

LE: There are no supermodels anymore. You have Giselle, but there isn't a group like Linda [Evangelista], Naomi [Campbell] and Christy [Turlington]. What do you think about that?
FN: I know. I was lucky because I was working right at time when we had those six or seven girls. We really worked and had incredible fun. There were not many girls. Now there are thousands.

LE: After a while, we got sick of looking at them. I'm glad there are choices now.
FN: You know the good part about them? We were pushing them to be really different in every photograph. Especially with Steven [Meisel], we really got Linda in so many different looks. It was very challenging and fun. Of course, in the end, it's good that there are new people. Those girls were great? more like actresses; they got into different characters. A lot of times now you work with those young girls and they don't know how to move. They're very sweet, but they have no training.

LE: Neither did Christy or Naomi in the beginning.
FN: That's true, but they still have a sophistication about themselves. They still have an inner sophistication and a love. You've got to love being photographed. You've got to fall in love with the camera. You have to be very narcissistic. A lot of girls [today] aren't narcissists at all. Is that the right name?

LE: It is the right name.
FN: To me, a good model should love being photographed. I think all those girls adore being photographed, like Naomi. And today I work a lot with young girls. They come from school and they don't really give a damn, honestly. If they're smart, they work on themselves. And also you need a look. You gotta have that striking look to make you stand out for a while. A lot of beauties today are good-looking girls, but they don't have what it takes to have a 15-year career. I think everything goes very fast. Faster than it was.

LE: We eat them up. That's just the nature. You don't get bored, because there's always something new.
FN: You don't get bored, that's for sure.